PTI claims Boxing dead

September 14, 2013

Want to raise passion among combat sport fans? Advise the world the death of a sport.

This happened with ESPN Pardon The Interruption recently as Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, the Stadler and Waldorf of the network talking heads decried that boxing was dead.  Certainly, a part of this proclamation was to ignite a fire.  It certainly drew the ire of ESPN’s own boxing writer Dan Rafael.  On Friday, the two pondered whether a Mayweather win or a Canelo win would be good for the sport.

The two questioned that if Canelo won it would provide an immediate rematch with Mayweather which would regain boxing’s momentum as more people would get to know Canelo (and get behind the 23 year old) for an inevitable Cinco de Mayo redux.  A Mayweather win would mean that the 36 year old would continue the Money train and handpick another fighter for the third of six fights on his Showtime contract.  Its a sign of dominance of a sport that is rarely seen.

Personally, I like Kornheiser and Wilbon despite not agreeing with everything they might opine.  Certainly, they aren’t fans of MMA, but I respect their opinions with the exception of Wilbon’s rudderless following of NBA protocol during its season.

But the PTI guys suggest that the sport is dead because its their belief that “The One” is just that – the one.  There are no longer multiple big fights in a year.  There is just a singular event that gets the fight fans revved up for a night.  Moreover, there aren’t too many household names in boxing.  Perhaps the introduction of a new name like Canelo will get more fans to take notice.

But, Kornheiser and Wilbon may be wrong.  According to a survey in May, boxing is still popular among 30-44 year olds as well as the Spanish/Hispanic demographic.  This is due to the fact that the older generation grew up with boxing on free television.  As for the Spanish/Hispanic demographic, boxing stars of that ethnicity are more prevalent.  Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. are prime examples.  One need only think of Chavez, Jr and the Argentine Sergio Martinez fight from last year to recognize the nationalistic pride for country within the sport.

This year, the undercard of “The One” will feature Danny Garcia versus another Argentine Lucas Matthysse in a matchup that may have fight fans in their seats a little earlier than normal.

But if you are thinking about reasons why the sport is dying you may look to issues such a pay.  While many boxers are compensated better than many MMA fighters, the problem of pay is an issue not just limited to MMA.  Thus, fixes within the sport must be addressed.

The issue of corruption has always been a theme simmering under the surface of the sport.  The Muhammad Ali Act was put into place to protect fighters.  However, few fighters have taken advantage of the protections of the act and no fighters have prevailed in a lawsuit under the Act.  The expense of litigation is one of the main factors that fighters do not utilize the Act.  A recent law article in the Sports Lawyers Journal proposed that the Act be modified to allow the fighters to arbitrate their issues with promoters which would be less expensive and potentially promote more fighters to speak up if they feel wronged.

Then, there are the issues of performance enhancing drugs, the alphabet soup of sanctioning bodies and the Golden Boy-Top Rank feud which will refuse to put together fights.  There’s a lot to clean up.  But, no sport is perfect.  Of course, no one is suggesting other sports are dead.

Payout Perspective:

Boxing is not dead.  But, will most of us be able to see it should be the question.  Last year, it returned to network television on both NBC and CBS and did well ratings-wise.  NBC Sports Network’s quarterly showings of boxing events have had decent showings as well.  On the other hand, FS1’s Golden Boy offerings have not done well in the ratings although it may be too soon to tell.  The recent signing of boxers by Showtime has developed a rivalry with HBO.  The issue for consumers is whether its worth spending money on the premium channels to watch the fights the networks provide.  If you are not fans of “Homeland” or “Boardwalk Empire”, would you really want to spend an extra $30 on your cable bill just to see boxing?

Saturday’s PPV event will remind the sporting world that boxing is a spectacle and if more people were exposed to its fighters, it might regain the recognition it once had.

24 Responses to “PTI claims Boxing dead”

  1. duck on September 14th, 2013 6:30 AM

    Combat sports fans seem to live in a bubble, this is the biggest combat sports fight in years a massive fight that will bring in millions but a lot more casual fans in America are talking about and will watch Alabama Vs Texas A&M.

  2. Jason Cruz on September 14th, 2013 7:48 AM


    You can do both. Plus watch WSOF before the fight too.

  3. BrainSmasher on September 14th, 2013 8:27 AM

    When you get old you start to lose speed and reflexes. The older FMJ gets the bigger and slower the opponents he fights. This is why he would t fight packman who is smaller a d why he is fighting this guy who is dropping two weight divisions. The guy is a master manipulator. Wilbon is right. This is a si gle event. 75% of the people who buy this event will not see another boxing match for at least a year! The success of this fight does t reflect boxing standing. But if it isnt an epic fail it will help boxing.

  4. Logical on September 14th, 2013 10:52 AM

    If anything this fight has done is make people very aware that boxing still puts on the biggest fights in combat sports, they may be few and far between but it has managed to produce a lot of superstars that keep the sport alive and well. And if Canelo wins on Saturday then add another one to the mix.

    The talk of boxing is dying has been prevalent since Muhammad Ali retired, then continued with Tyson, De La Hoya and will probably start again when Mayweather and Pacquiao retire — and by then there were will be another couple of fighters taking their place, that’s just the way it works.

    Boxing definitely has a ton of problems and as Paul Malignaggi put it best “Boxing is full of shit!” but promoters like Golden Boy have smarten up and have started to emulate a little bit of what the UFC has done in terms if its rapid success, so if anything i see a brighter future for Boxing.

  5. BrainSmasher on September 14th, 2013 3:52 PM

    I agree they have learned from the UFC and it will make boxing better because of it. Luckily for boxing their stars have passed the torch to the right person over the years. But even FMJ had to ride the coat tails of everything under the sun to get to where he is even after beating Oscar. What is going to hurt boxing and end this runoff big stars. Is the boxing way of cherry picking fights and ducking tough fights. Its fine when the torch is passed to the next best fighter who has many years ahead of them. Its another when a star ducks people and due to age gets smashed by a guys who isn’t the next best thing. Then they dump the belt and it gets passed around. To keep the big star. Boxing needs its champs to reign for a long time. The over whelming Majority of the fans buying these fights are not following boxing and not being more than 1-2 PPVs a year. They wont be able to keep up if they belt is passed to often to unknown guys. There just isn’t enough people following boxing who learn of these guys before they fight for the belt. As good as Canelo is. I bet 50-75% of the people watching this fight have never seen him fight.

  6. BrainSmasher on September 14th, 2013 9:48 PM

    What a Effing snooze fest this was. First boxing match I have watched in a very long time and first PPV I seen in years. Now I know why. Shit dragged on past 1 am. Extremely boring and I kept nodding off. blind judge saw it a draw. And of course just as I predicted FMJ cherry picked him a bigger guy who couldn’t touch him while he ran all night.

    I was going to buy the PPV. Then I started thinking about how much Tops, Sampson, and Aintitthetruth said FMJ got paid. So I said hell I guess he doesn’t need my money. So I streamed it. Good thing too. I would have tracked FMJ down and took my $75 out on his boring ass!

  7. Uzmaki on September 15th, 2013 4:12 AM

    @brainsmasher I feel you man I first tought of going out to watch but then I’m like heinnn what’s the point to simply see 3nibs of action in an hour this was just like the orher 40+ mayweather fights dominant but not terribly exciting

  8. aintitthetruth on September 15th, 2013 8:53 AM

    All i hear is talk about handpicked opponents. yet there’s no talk of who could beat mayweather.

  9. AK on September 15th, 2013 1:47 PM

    Here’s what I don’t get in the boxer vs. MMA pay comparison. May’s 41.5M was brought up ad nauseum, and rightfully so, but that was the record…of ALL time. So it’s not like that is the avg payday for boxers. And second, these big boxing events happen twice a YEAR, tops. The UFC, too, can have just two big events a year, but it spreads ’em out throughout the year. Would the top fighter make 40M? No, but just something to take into consideration, as it is most NEVER discussed. Sports fans and MMA haters act like these boxing megaevents go on everyday…not twice a YEAR.

  10. mmaguru on September 15th, 2013 2:52 PM

    Golden Boy is doing a good job in the promotion business. T

  11. mmaguru on September 15th, 2013 2:54 PM

    p.s. every year for the last 5 years someone says boxing is dead, yet here we are in 2013 and boxing is still putting on huge PPVs. Even the best MMA card has yet to eclipse what boxing does.

  12. BrainSmasher on September 15th, 2013 4:03 PM

    I don’t think anyone means boxing is going to die as in not exist. But boxing is not strong right now. Would the NFL be strong if no one watched the sport until the super bowl? That is what boxing is doing. There is a lot of people who watch 1 single fighter in boxing when the stars aligh and the media blows it up. But those people are not following boxing at any other time. There is no where near the same level of people who just want to watch the sport or boxing and will watch any match they can find on tv or go to their local boxing events. MMA doesn’t have that star personality that the media has turned FMJ into. But what they do have is more people who are willing to watch the sport, a match of MMA rules, regardless of the person fighting. 200-300K people pay $50 for the lowest PPV with no name value. UFC events on tv with no name fighters can pull a million viewers. Even Bellator as a new brand with no names can pull 500k+. WSOF with no names are getting decent ratings on a bad network. Boxing doesn’t havethose numbers just wanting to see a boxing match. If the UFC put on celebrity MMA and sold 1.5 million PPV buys. Would it be the celebrity or the sport who people tuned in to see? The big Boxing match each year has become an event just like the super bowl. Neither reflect the popularity of the sport. People all over the world watch the super bowl and don’t like football. The one match each year with the biggest name will always do well because it is an event and tradition. Even if the rest of the sport gets weaker and weaker. These events are not a good measurement of the pulse of boxing.

  13. aintitthetruth on September 16th, 2013 9:47 AM

    Ak: no one talks about ufc vs boxing because it is ridiculous to equate one promotion with an entire sport. In boxing there are multiple platforms and there are more than a few big events a year. big being diffetentiated from mega big like this mayweather fight. Ufc may be able to put on a couple big shows but can only dream of putting on a megashow. Ufc is lightyears behind boxing in all aspects and rightfully so. Ufc does not equal mma.

  14. Chang on September 16th, 2013 10:34 AM

    Good read

  15. Chang on September 16th, 2013 10:34 AM

    Talked to Schaefer this afternoon and he said based on early returns he has no doubt that #TheOne will be over 2M PPV buys.
    by Dan Rafael

    The PPV numbers for #TheOne won’t be announced til later in the week. That said, from info I’m getting, I’m guessing around 2.36 or 2.37 mil
    by Kevin Iole

  16. BrainSmasher on September 16th, 2013 2:03 PM

    Please tell me why UFC doesn’t equal MMA? They are the highest level of professional MMA. They set the standard for the rules everyone uses. They created the sport. Their brand is synonymous with MMA by many fans and especially mainstream public. The NFL is Professional football. Even though there is many other leagues that pay their players. The NFL is the industry. They are the standard barer for every other league down to Pee Wee leagues.

    You can call it Mega events or big events. Doesn’t matter. Boxing has 1 mega event a year on average. What you call big events is dominated by the UFC. Fact is the lowest UFC PPV 200K PPV buys would qualify as a big PPV in boxing. The UFC does that 15-20 times a year to boxing like 3-4 if that.

  17. Jason Cruz on September 16th, 2013 3:26 PM



  18. mmaguru on September 16th, 2013 5:57 PM

    Those are some huge numbers being estimated for the fight on Saturday. Anything over 2 million is over what I thought it would do. Pretty good for a dying sport?

  19. mmaguru on September 16th, 2013 6:28 PM

    Anyone making any predictions on UFC 165?

    I just attempted to buy the maximum tickets allowed for the event on ticket master. I was able to buy the 8 tickets at every price level. That can’t be a good sign this close to the show. Might be a lot of papering going on this weekend in Toronto.

    I guess the UFC will have to wait for the GSP fight to get some much needed PPV revenue for the year. They are still 2.3 million buys shy of last years total tally. All indicators suggest that they should get that much with 4 big events left this year, but who knows at this point.

  20. aintitthetruth on September 16th, 2013 8:08 PM

    Because there are ranked fighters outside of the ufc.

  21. BrainSmasher on September 18th, 2013 1:08 AM

    Not legitimate ranked fighters. If you have followed this sport at all. You know that it is common for the media to throw non UFC fighters into the top 10. They always have. The UFC could buy Bellator tonight and the media and the fans would start hyping what ever piece of crap WSOF has to offer. The top guy in other promotions always gets almost an honorary spot in the rankings and fans drink the cool aide. They tried for ever to jam Elverez at the top of the ranking. remember how they were hyping Nick Diaz when he was outside the UFC? How well did that go? Overeem? A guy like Chandler seems to have potential. But what has he done to be ranked? Curtainly not what guys in the UFC had to do. He beat 1 good guy but hasn’t been proven verses multiple styles and abilities night in and night out the guys in the UFC had to do to get their ranking. So he banged it out with a slow brawling wrestler. So that puts him some where below Jamie Varner?

    If you are outside the UFC. You have to do more to get ranked. Not less. Racking up names like Glover did outside the UFC is how you do it. Not can smashing. Until them you are just a “notable”. Someone to keep an eye on until you actually do something.

  22. aintitthetruth on September 19th, 2013 6:46 AM

    Legitimate ? pat curran is ranked by everyone and hasn’t fought in thd ufc. Ths ufc does not establish someone as legitimate. Retard.

  23. BrainSmasher on September 22nd, 2013 11:33 AM

    How did he get ranked? That’s right. People guessing on potential. Not accomplishments. You cant accomplish much outside the UFC. Sure as hell cant prove anything.

  24. aintitthetruth on October 8th, 2013 11:36 PM

    Yes you can. Ufc is overrated.

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